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Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are discussing how planning a trip to Disneyland is different than planning a visit to Walt Disney World.


Transportation at Disneyland can be a bit more complicated than at Walt Disney World, where guests staying onsite simply hop aboard a bus, boat or monorail that deposits them directly at the Park gate. But at Disneyland, because of the more petite footprint, there are several other options that can really help you maximize your time.

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Arriving at the Parks, bright and early!

Unlike the vast and spread out Walt Disney World, the Disneyland Resort is smack-dab in the middle of a bustling city! On one side of the front gates are motels, freeways, sidewalks, parking lots and traffic. On the other side of the gate exists the “Disney bubble” with a transportation system of its own! So how do you quickly get from one to the other? By using a combination of transportation systems, you’ll soon be on your way.

Here’s an important overview of transportation at Disneyland

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Take a picture before boarding the escalator to help you remember which level you parked on.

Parking Structure or Parking Area

There are hundreds of hotels in the Anaheim area, so if one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels is booked or if you’re looking for a more budget option, seek an offsite hotel. This means you’ll need to consider how to get to the Parks each day. If you are planning on driving your car in each day, depending upon the direction you come from or which lots are available, you’ll have several parking options. The cost will be $18 per day for cars & motorcycles, no matter if you choose the structure (garage) or area (parking lot).

Mickey and Friends Parking Structure is located on Disneyland Dr. and has a large capacity (which can be a good or bad thing). After descending the escalators, you’ll be funneled into a waiting space for a Disney resort tram. Early in the morning the wait is minimal but come just around Park opening and you may find yourself waiting as long as 30 minutes for a tram to take you to the Park entrance. These open-air trams will deposit you at the end of the Downtown Disney District, near the front entrance to the Parks. At the end of the day, you might find that the wait for the tram to take you back to the parking structure can be upwards of a half hour. You’ll be required to fold up your stroller and hold packages on your lap. Waiting in line for the tram you can be guaranteed to see several sleeping kids, many grouchy parents and lots of people who are pushy to get the next seat on the tram. Time your exit knowing that getting a seat on the tram back to the parking structure can be trying.

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Taking the escalators at Mickey & Friends Parking Structure. The tram is arriving at the bottom.

Toy Story Parking Area is located off South Harbor Blvd. Once parked here, you’ll be shuttled on a Disneyland Resort bus directly to the front entrance. There is also the Pumbaa Parking Area, located on Disney Way. It’s a bit smaller of a lot and just off the freeway so it generally fills up quickly. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to catch a ride back on one of the buses in the same location and be taken back to your vehicle. We’ve always had better luck with wait times for transportation back to the Toy Story parking area (less than 10 minutes) versus the Mickey and Friends parking structure (upwards of 30 minutes). For me, parking in the lots is ideal to the parking structure, though traffic getting in and out can be more difficult because you are located on busier streets.

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Bus transportation back to the parking areas.

For more information and a map of the different parking locations, click this link from the Disneyland Resort.

Take the Bus

Local bus transportation, including Greyhound, Los Angeles Metro or Orange County Transit Authority is available if you are further away and need a ride to the Parks. Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) is a convenient and cost-effect method of transportation from area hotels to the Disneyland Resort or convention center.

If you are staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel, many of them offer shuttle service from their hotel to the Disneyland Resort, so check when booking. Our recent stay at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel offered guests a complimentary shuttle ride to and from the parks on their Dream Machine.

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Dream Machine, free shuttle service from the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel.

Check out more via this link from the Disneyland Resort about bus service.

Catch the Monorail

Already have your valid resort ticket and want to jump right in to the heart of the Disneyland Park? You can get quick access via the monorail from the Downtown Disney District station. This is a great option for those staying at the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel or for those who are staying off-site but walking to the parks through Downtown Disney District. There is a security check at this entrance and you do need your valid resort ticket on hand.

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Please note that the monorail’s 2.5 mile route only has two stops, one in the Downtown Disney District and one in Tomorrowland inside Disneyland. The monorail does not stop at Disney’s California Adventure park.

Drop off/Pick up

If you have the ability to have someone drop you off and pick you up at the front entrance there is an area on Harbor Blvd. If you want to take a taxi back to your hotel, this is where you’d be able to pick up a ride.

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

Walking back to our hotel, a quick 10 minutes.

Walking

Sometimes there’s nothing more reliable than your own two feet! Choose a hotel that’s close-by (easy to do in Anaheim) and you can be out the door and at the front gate in a matter of minutes! This makes it easy to take a mid-day break for swimming or napping if you can quickly walk back to your hotel.

Important Advice to Know About Transportation at Disneyland Resort

All three kids, sacked out on the drive home!

 

For more ways Disneyland trip planning is different,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | How Planning a Trip to Disneyland is Different Loop:

What is your favorite method of transportation at Disneyland Resort? Share with us in the comments!

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What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

On top of lodging and Park tickets, food can be a very big cost factor when planning a Disney vacation. Everyone has to eat and when you’re away from home you need to eat what’s available. Yes, you can pack snacks in to the Parks but when it comes to long-term sustenance nothing beats a good hearty meal. Fortunately Disneyland has plenty of options that will fill you up and if you share, they can also be very economical. What are the best meals for sharing at Disneyland? Read on (hope you’re hungry!)

Why Should You Share?

Disneyland meal platters are often very large and might be difficult to finish on your own. Unlikely that you’ll want to walk around the Park with a “to-go” box of your leftovers either. Kids meals are cute (Mickey shaped plates!) but for the price, you don’t always get the largest portions. And often the offerings for kids are nuggets and fries, which you can get anywhere. Why not try something new?

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

Not only is sharing a more budget-friendly idea, it’s also great to try more than one dish. As a family of five, we often purchase two platters and a side (like a salad or appetizer) to share between us when we’re at Disneyland. This way we can all try a little bit of everything and it’s more cost-effective.

Go for the Big Platter

A big platter shared between two or more is usually your best bet when it comes to price and portion-size. If there are more than two in your group, you might want to order more than one platter or an additional side dish to share between you. The Carnation Cafe serves big breakfasts like Country-Fried Steak and Eggs and a Ham and Cheese Omelet that are perfect for two to share in the morning. Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill is a family favorite for us, with heaping portions of grilled meats, tortillas, tamales, rice and beans. You can also opt in for Mexican at Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurant where you can order enchiladas and tacos. Flo’s V8 Cafe is known for their homey cooking and large platters like BBQ Pork Ribs and Rotisserie Chicken.

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

– Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

French Market Restaurant is another family favorite. We love to order the Cajun-Style Meatloaf and French Market Chicken and share it between us all. Choose a few skewer platters from Paradise Garden Grill to split. Each plate also comes with rice pilaf, cucumber salad and pita bread. The River Belle Terrace now serves platters large enough for splitting, including a Sausage Link Combo and Pulled Pork Sandwich. The beautiful and bountiful platters of pasta from Wine Country Trattoria are easy to divide and you could always round out the meal with an Italian Insalata appetizer. Plaza Inn is a perfect dinner spot with their enormous platters of fried chicken, potatoes, buttermilk biscuit and veggies.

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

This is one third of a portion at Plaza Inn.

Share a Sandwich (or a Salad)

The Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square can be on the heavy side for one person to consume (turkey, ham, Swiss that’s been lightly battered, fried, drizzled with powdered sugar and topped with berry preserve). Don’t forget the pomme frites! My husband and I split a Roasted Turkey Sandwich from the Carnation Cafe for dinner last year. Along with fresh fruit (option instead of fries), it was a filling and delicious meal.

The salad at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill is big enough for two to enjoy.

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

Step outside the Parks into the Downtown Disney District at Earl of Sandwich for large sized sandwiches that are hearty enough to share. We’ve purchased several breakfast sandwiches here as well and cut them into quarters so that everyone have a few bites from each different variety. Breakfast sandwiches are under $3.50 and hot lunch sandwiches are around $6.99, so the prices are really right.

The prices at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe are a little higher but they also come with fresh fruit. Plates are a few dollars more at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe but the sandwiches come with popular house chips. And it’s all about the seafood at the Harbour Galley. Stop by for a Lobster Roll sandwich that’s sure to float your boat.

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

– Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Just a Snack

Sometimes you just need a nibble and these snacks are great for sharing. Everyone gets a few bites and you’re good until the next big meal. Grab a few skewers from Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland. Each skewer is under $4.50 so the price is right to order a few and share between you.

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

The corn dogs from either Corn Dog Castle or the Little Red Wagon Corn Dog Cart are over sized and nice for sharing between two (they come with either sliced apples or a bag of chips).

Chili Cone Queso from the Cozy Cone Motel is also a good size for two to share. Of course there is always the behemoth turkey leg sold at Edelweiss Snacks that is large enough for an army!

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

Share a Cozy Cone – – Photo Credit: Disney Parks

Pass a Slice of Pizza

Order a whole pizza from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta or Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port. You can get pepperoni, veggie or plain cheese amd round out the meal with a salad to split.

Desserts and Sweets

I’m usually way too full after my meal to indulge in dessert so I wait and get a sweet treat later when I can more fully enjoy it! The Golden Horseshoe is a favorite sweet spot because you can share one of the big sundaes and watch a comedy show. The Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe has a large variety of desserts that you can divide between your group including cupcakes. We usually indulge in homemade fudge or toffee from Main Street U.S.A. to share between us!

What Are the Best Meals for Sharing at Disneyland Resort?

A giant bucket of popcorn is ideal for sharing while parade watching- Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Sharing Tips

  • If ordering at a quick-service counter restaurant, request a second or third plate up front. Grab yourself plenty of flatware and divvy the plates up at your seat.
  • If ordering at a full-service restaurant, note to the wait staff that you’ll be sharing the dish. They may even be able to divide the dish in the kitchen and serve it to you on two plates so you don’t have to do that yourself.
  • Some establishments have sharing restrictions. Buffet restaurants, Prix fix meals and Character meals are no-sharing allowed zones. Each person in your group will be charged up front for entry.
  • Certain restaurants (like Blue Bayou) charge a “plate splitting” fee if you order a platter to be shared. Keep that in mind when working out your food budget and determine if the fee is worth it or if you should just purchase an additional meal.
  • The exception for sharing is with children 2 and under. You are welcome to share your food with them from your plate or fix them their own plate from a buffet.

What are your favorite dishes to share at Disney? Let us know in the comments!

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I recommend Park Savers for discount Disney tickets! (affiliate link)

Park Savers affiliate link

Thrill-Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Disneyland has something for everyone, thrill seekers included! The thrills here are just as visual and cerebral as they are tummy-tickling which makes them great for a wide variety of ages. I’ve included big thrills as well as mini-thrills for thrill seekers in training.


Big Thrills at Disneyland Park 

When looking for thrills at Disneyland, look no further than the mountains…namely Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Matterhorn and Space Mountain.

Splash Mountain is a mostly tame log ride that takes you through the story of Song of the South inside Critter Country. However the sweet fun inside culminates in a five story drop down a waterfall that will tickle your tummy. Many kids will balk at riding this one because you can’t miss seeing guests being hurtled down the flume at the ride’s entrance. And you will get wet (possibly soaked), so keep that in mind and switch your walking shoes out for plastic flip-flops. (40″ or taller)

Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland is one of my favorites, but you’d never have guessed when I was younger. My parents quite literally dragged me on, crying! This is one of the rides that I like to go on twice; Once in the daytime and again at night because the experience changes. You’ll sit inside a train car and be treated to fast speeds and dips as the runaway train blasts through this “wildest ride in the wilderness”. Watch out for that dynamite! (40″ or taller)

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

The Matterhorn Bobsleds, the ride many guests love to hate. I will confess that this was a favorite when I was younger and my dad would encourage us to lean into the curves to make our bobsled zip faster. It’s another ride that is great to ride in the day and at night. Unfortunately since the bobsleds have been redesigned, I’m not a fan and the Matterhorn ride is extremely uncomfortable and painful to my back. Those bobsleds definitely need more padding! With the addition of new Abominable Snowman, I’m excited to give this Fantasyland ride another try on our next visit. (42″ or taller)

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Space Mountain, the fastest of all coasters inside the Disneyland Park will take you to the edges of the universe on a high-speed adventure. Guests board what looks like a rocket inside this Tomorrowland thrill ride that combines darkness, planetary lights and stars and a rockin’ soundtrack. If you’ve never ridden this one before you might find yourself feeling a bit dizzy after the many swirling circles that your rocket takes. (40″ or taller)

Indiana Jones Adventure inside Adventureland is dark, mysterious and not for the faint of heart. You’ll board a 12-person vehicle that takes you on a bumpy journey akin to what Indiana Jones would experience (snakes, booby traps, lava, mummies, etc). Pay attention to the ride warnings on this one as the ride is very rocky (secure your possessions!) (46″ or taller)

It’s a race through the universe in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, a thrilling motion-simulator ride. Don your 3-D glasses and step inside the “Starspeeder 1000″ for a trip to one of six planets in one of fifty possible scenarios. This exciting flight simulator also includes animatronic characters and adventure to the far reaches of the galaxy. (40” or taller)

Mini-thrills at Disneyland Park

A great warm-up for the bigger thrill rides, these mini-thrills will give you a little tummy tickle but would be unlikely to cause any fears or upset stomachs.

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort. Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Astro Orbitor – this is Dumbo the Flying Elephant for the big kid set. Board a rocket that spins you around in a circle and use the joystick to raise and lower. This one is especially cool at night with the lights of Tomorrowland twinkling around you.

Gadget’s Go Coaster – a great beginner’s coaster set inside the whimsical Toontown. Guests only need to be 35″ so many three-year olds are old enough to ride. It’s only one minute long (just a climb, drop and a few quick dips and it’s over), so the ride is over quickly. Perfect for first time thrill-seekers!

Pirates of the Caribbean – it’s dark and somewhat spooky in here! With realistic animatronic pirates, skeletons and a short water drop your little one might be trembling a bit but it’s all a yo-ho good time in the end.


Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Across the esplanade at Disney’s California Adventure Park, there are thrills of another kind.

Big Thrills at Disney’s California Adventure Park

Drop in for a scream of a time at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! I will confess that this ride is the only attraction I’ve never set foot on. I’m always worried it’s going to induce a headache with those random drops. It’s also a bit spooky, as I’ve gleaned from the images online. My stepdaughter has walked in and walked out in the past, saying she’s too scared to ride. Perhaps next time I’ll gain the courage? (40″ or taller)

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

There is one ride at the Disneyland Resort that will literally turn you head over heels and that’s California Screamin’! Set back in the Paradise Pier area, you can’t miss this one…just follow the screams! Though it looks like a rickety coaster of old, it’s actually a very smooth ride, full of dips and twists and one big loop-de-loop! (48″ or taller)

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.  Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Mickey’s Fun Wheel in Paradise Pier has two sections; one is a stationary gondola that turns just as any ordinary Ferris wheel. Choose the second gondola and you’ll enjoy a perilous swing each time the Ferris wheel rotates. Neither of them are appropriate if you’re afraid of heights (myself included!). Try it at night when the wheel is lit. (No height requirements)

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Race into Cars Land for a turn on the high-speed Radiator Springs Racers! Part slow dark ride, part roller coaster, this one is 100% can’t miss. Six guests ride inside their race car which competes against other car in a race to the finish through the Ornament Valley. (40″ or taller)

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.  Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Mini-Thrills at Disney’s California Adventure Park

Goofy’s Sky School – This one in Paradise Pier is zippier than it first appears. The tiny cars quickly cruise across the track, blindly turning sharply and dipping up and down. (42″ or taller)

Grizzly River Run – What seems at first like a float down a lazy river soon becomes a spinning trip down the Grizzly River, full of dips, drops and a good soaking! This is another one where I’d recommend changing your shoes and socks for flip-flops before. (42″ or taller)

Thrill Seekers Guide to the Disneyland Resort - What are the most thrilling rides for the most seasoned as well as beginning thrill seekers? Follow this guide to the Disneyland resort.

Jumpin’ Jellyfish – Float up and down gently 40″ high in your two-seater jellyfish bench. Not scary unless you’re afraid of heights (ahem!) (40″ or taller)

Silly Symphony Swings – Sit in an individual swinging chair, which raises and lowers, dipping up and down while simultaneously spinning. It’s a classic and great for young ones (you can even choose a side-by-side double swing). (40″ or taller)


Thrill-Seekers Must Haves

Thrill-seekers are used to be turned head over heels! Nothing kills the thrill-buzz though like losing your car keys in the upside-down loop of California Screamin’. Girls should secure everything in a zippered bag like the LeSportsac Tink Hobo Bag and guys can store it all in a Star Wars Force Awakens BB-8 Backpack.

Capture your thrills for all time with a cool camera that goes anywhere like the Panasonic HX-A500 4K Point-of-View Wearable Action Camera Camcorder  or the Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera.

Kick start your day bright and early by being ready with Park tickets in hand before you arrive. I recommend purchasing Park tickets through Park Savers to save a few dollars and time in line at the gate.


If thrills are your thing but your body doesn’t always cooperate, make sure to take a peek at my post with Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea at Disneyland so you’ll know how to deal with any motion sickness ailments.

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This post contains affiliate links

What’s your favorite Disneyland thrill ride?

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Exercising on Vacation?! – Getting in a Workout, Disney-style at the Disneyland Resort Hotels

Exercising on Vacation?! - Getting in a Workout, Disney-style at the Disneyland Resort Hotels

You didn’t get enough of a workout strolling through the Parks? No worries, the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort have you covered. There are gyms for breaking a sweat in, pools to cool off in and fun group exercise activities that even take you inside the Park!

             

I will be totally honest with you: I’ve never worked out on a Disneyland vacation. However, because we live so close my “trips” are usually only overnight and the days are jam-packed with Park walking. If I were to take a longer vacation, I know I’d want to supplement the walking with some cardio or weight training as well. It’s great to know that even while you’re indulging in fried chicken at the Plaza Inn you can still keep up your healthy exercise habits!

Images from Disney.com

The fitness centers at the Disneyland Resort hotels are well-equipped with treadmills, bicycles (both regular and recumbent), ellipticals, stair climbers, free weights and weight machines. There are lockers available. Use of the fitness centers is complimentary for Resort Hotel Guests. Guests must be 14 years or older to use the fitness centers. Guests 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.

Eureka Fitness Center at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel – closes at 8 pm daily.

Goofy About Health Club at the Disneyland Hotel -open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Mickey’s Beach Fitness Center at the Paradise Pier -open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Image from Disney.com

The pools of the Disneyland Resort offer Guests a refreshing swim, though it might be a challenge getting a decent water-workout during peak times. Early morning or late evening are probably your best bet for getting a space in the pool to exercise. The D-Ticket pool at the Disneyland pool is recommended for lap swimming.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa pools

Disneyland Hotel pools

Paradise Pier pool

Each pool also offers whirlpool hot tubs for relaxing those sore muscles after your workout (or after a long day on your feet in the Park!)

Images from Disney.com


All Guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels can participate in the Get Up & Go Power Walk. Beginning at 7am, this is a 15-minute, one-mile walk through Disney California Adventure Park. It is led by a Guest Activities Coordinator and free for Resort Guests. Minimum age to participate is 14 years; Guests 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up at the Guest Services desk in the main lobby to reserve a space.

A Pilates-inspired, non-impact fitness class is held near the Outdoor Fireplace in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This one-hour workout session is appropriate for men and women of all fitness levels. Minimum age to participate is 14 years old. Contact the Guest Services desk upon arrival for the class schedule and to sign up; Reservations are required.


Do you exercise on your Disney vacations? Share below in the comments and please consider signing up for my newsletter so you’ll be notified when new posts are listed.

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Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

What are the benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel? The Disneyland Resort is smack-dab in the middle of the city of Anaheim. Unlike Walt Disney World, where the resort is spread out by miles and miles, Disneyland is quite compact and very walk-able. This means you have tons of choices when it comes to choosing a hotel in the Disneyland area. What are the benefits of staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel (on-site) and why should you choose Disney when booking? I’ll break it down for you…


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I had a momentary lapse into insanity when I booked us for two nights in the recently-renovated Disneyland Hotel for a trip in 2012.

“This hotel is connected to the park?”, says my husband.

Nope, that’s the Grand Californian and that would have been at least another $75 extra per night.

“Is it a suite?”

No, just a standard room. But I will definitely ask for an upgrade. I’ve always at least received a park-view room for the standard price when I ask for an upgrade. 

“But for that price, it includes breakfast, right?”

Uh, no…if you want a breakfast you buy the $40 a person buffet at Goofy’s Kitchen.

“Do we at least get a foot massage at the end of the day?”, he asks with a wink.

He’s joking at this point, of course.

The Frontier Tower at the Disneyland Hotel.

The Frontier Tower at the Disneyland Hotel.

  • There are three choices of Disneyland Resort Hotels in the Anaheim area…The Paradise Pier, The Disneyland Hotel and The Grand Californian Resort & Spa.
  • Yes, you are close to the Park entrances but truly there are hotels on the other side of the street that are also within walking distance and could be considered closer. The Grand Californian Resort & Spa has its own entrance to Disney’s California Adventure that any Disney Resort Guest can access by walking through the lobby. And access to the Monorail is close to the Disneyland Hotel as well. Otherwise it’s a brisk walk through Downtown Disney to get to the front gates.
  • The Disney touch for sure is a major selling point. The hotels, like the Parks, are well-cared for and maintained and I’ve never met any Cast Member (aka: Disney employee) that didn’t embody that spirit. I’ve heard otherwise online, but that’s the honest truth from me; I’ve experienced nothing but warmth and exceptional courtesy from all Disney Cast Members.

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  • Probably one of the top benefits of staying at a resort hotel is the Extra Magic Hour. For each day of your resort stay, you are able to enter the parks (with valid ticket) one hour earlier than the general public. If you aren’t purchasing your tickets through a Disney Resort package, I’d recommend purchasing from Park Savers. You’ll save a few dollars on the tickets and save time at the gates on the first day. (affiliate link)  Please note that during Extra Magic Hour, only select attractions and shops are open, but it’s a great way to hit Fantasyland in Disneyland or CarsLand at Disney’s California Adventure before the lines are a mile long. You would be surprised at what could be accomplished in one line-free hour! Each Park has separate gate entrances for the Extra Magic Hour guests.

Extra Magic Hour Schedule

  • Using your Key to the Magic (room key) you can charge some Disney purchases onto your room account. I used it to purchase a yummy drink by the pool!

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  • And about those pools…we have actually booked an extra day at the resort to just stay and swim, we love these pools so much! All three resorts have great water slides, several pools to choose from as well as hot tubs. With the resorts so close, we usually take a mid-day swim break and return to the parks refreshed in the late afternoon. Read more in my post Disneyland Resort Hotel Swimming Pools – What to Expect of Your Fun in the Sun!
  • Don’t want to schlep that big bag of souvenirs through the park? Package Express will deliver any purchases made in the park directly to your room.
  • Schedule a free Character Wake Up Call. On our last trip I had Mickey call to wake up the kids so we could get into the parks early!
  • If you have a special occasion during your trip, as a hotel guest you may contact Disney Vacation Planning for Disney Dream Makers to bring a cake, balloons or a gift basket to your room. Costs for these are naturally, pricey.
  • Hotel guests can book their kids into Pinocchio’s Workshop, a child care facility on the grounds of The Grand Californian Resort & Spa for ages 5-12. For a fee, parents can enjoy a child-free evening in Downtown Disney.
  • There is an exclusive entrance at the Grand Californian Resort & Spa to enter the Disney’s California Adventure Park for Disneyland Resort guests only. Anyone (guest or not) can also hop on board the Monorail in Downtown Disney to get inside the Disneyland Resort (so long as you already have your paid ticket). We use this entrance frequently when we want to take a swim break mid-day.

Please check out Disneyland’s hotel overview online for comparisons and other benefits to staying at a resort.

And if you’re interested in staying off-site, please see my post Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels.

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